Ruddock hails spirit of last gasp win

Mike Ruddock heaped praise on the spirit and bottle his Worcester Warriors showed as the edged a 13-12 tense thriller over champions London Wasps at Sixways Stadium.

On loan ace Willie Walker slotted a dramatic final minute drop goal to seal a stunning win for Warriors on home turf and first in the Guinness Premiership in 2009.

Ruddock was delighted for his team and admitted while they were not always at their fluid best they had should huge amounts of effort to nail down a late win.

“It was a hard fought game with crucial moments for both teams,” said Ruddock. “Wasps will look at those couple of missed opportunities when they spilled the ball over the line, but we have been there ourselves when interception tries have gone against us.

“The wheel of fortune turned for us with Alex Grove scoring after the interception and suddenly we were in the game because of it.

“Our defensive effort was magnificent and just the tackles on the try line showed the spirit of the team. That has been the big message I have drummed into the boys all week, we had to show the spirit of this team.

“We had to demonstrate to our fans and everyone that we have got bottle and we definitely had that against Wasps.”

Warriors were disrupted before kick-off with Chris Latham ruled out with injury but the new-look backline clicked as team produced a staggering defensive show to hold off a fired up Wasps side.

“It was a big effort from us. We couldn’t be overly confident that we would get this result because of the disruption we had,” revealed Ruddock.

“It was Willie Walker’s first game at ten and Alex Grove at 12. Hal Luscombe has only just come back and is three or four games off getting the form that I know he is capable of, although he did very well against Wasps.

“Miles Benjamin dropped one or two passes or high ball because he is has been out for so long, Marcel Garvey is only a few games into his comeback. We also had to play Rico out of position at full back.

“When you look at our disruption and lack of cohesion it is probably, from an attacking point of view, one or our less threatening displays of the season.

“But what it was about was, not so much showing that we can attack and score tries, but that we can stop the rot and shut out a very direct and physical and forceful team with a lot of good runners behind the scrum.

“With some luck we will get Chris Latham and Dale Rasmussen back for next week, but Willie Walker was fantastic for us.

“He gave us a lot of direction and although we didn’t play great rugby at times we defended for our lives and scrapped for everything and that was enough.”